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CRTC Okays Canadian Sirius and XM Merger

Regulator blesses merger of the Canadian licensees for the U.S. satellite radio services, to create a company serving 1.7 million subscribers north of the border.

TORONTO -- The Canadian merger of local licensees of Sirius Satellite Radio Inc. and XM Satellite Radio is complete, after the CRTC on Monday blessed the transaction.

The effective control of the merged satellite radio businesses now goes to Canadian Satellite Radio Holdings Inc., with John Bitove, who launched Sirius Canada in 2005, to hold a 30.3 percent stake.

Other shareholders include the CBC and Slaight Communications, each with a 20.4 percent stake, and Sirius XM taking a 25 percent holding.

The remaining 4 percent of voting shares in the combined Canadian subscription satellite radio service, with around 1.7 million subscribers, will be held publicly.

Canadian Satellite Radio Inc. and Sirius Canada Inc. managed to convince Canada’s broadcast regulator that their deal will not reduce competition as both satellite radio services remain distinct and operate according to existing broadcast licenses.

Accordingly, the CRTC renewed the broadcasting licenses for the Sirius Canada and XM Canada services from Sept. 1 to Aug. 31, 2012.